Italy’s largest commercial broadcaster, Mediaset, has reported a loss in the first half of the year, with revenues dropping after several companies reduced their spending in television advertising during the pandemic.
The COVID-19 pandemic has left plenty of businesses on their last lives, and such advertising has been seen as one of the first costs to cut out in order to survive.
Mediaset, which is being controlled by the family of former Italy Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, claimed that it lost €18.9 million during the first six months of 2020.
This is a very heavy loss when compared to the €102.7 million net profit gained during the same period in 2019.
The operating profit at the Milan-based group was down by 80% during the period, at just €31.7 million, which was heavily influenced by the lack of revenue generated from advertising.
The pandemic has also taken its toll on Silvio Berlusconi, who tested positive for the virus last week, with him being at a ‘delicate’ stage of his battle with coronavirus.
Mediaset added that it also expected its financial results to improve during the second half of the year, as long as new lockdown measures to curb the effect of the virus are not imposed.
Italy was one of the hardest-hit countries in Europe during the rise of the pandemic back in March and April, with daily new cases reaching their peak on March 21, when 6,554 new cases were reported, along with 796 deaths related to the virus.
Since then, the country has managed to improve the situation drastically, yet there are fears of a second wave emerging due to the reopening of airports, with daily new cases being higher than a thousand every day for the last week.